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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Martial Arts

In my first post, I have talk about my interest in Martial Arts.
Many people do not like the pain that one has to go through when attending martial art classes.
The stretching exercises might be too tough for some to handle. I have suffered and endured the pain myself but I feel good after doing those exercises. Do not think splits and high kicks were possible when only trained from young. I have seen friends, age of 17-20, who were once very stiff has become good at splits as if they were trained from young! It is all about stretching.

The body is flexible. It is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. You must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf.
These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit.
However the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. This can very well obstruct an on-the-go lifestyle. That is why as the person grows older, bending or flexing becomes more limited. This is why stretching regularly, as part of a routine is very important.

What Is Stretching?
Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

1. Increase the Range of Movement
As one constantly do the stretching exercises, the length of the muscles and the tendons are also increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

2. Increased Ability to Perform Skills
When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

3. Injury Prevention
One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

4. Reduce Muscle Tension (my favourite)
If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretching, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

5. Enhance Energy
Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.
Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can not say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.


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